The Russian ambassador to the UK has claimed to have evidence that Britain played a role in the destruction of four Russian warships in the Black Sea.
In an interview with Sky News, Andrei Kelin warned the UK was “too deep” in the Ukraine war.
Asked to provide evidence of his claim, the ambassador said he had handed evidence over to his British counterpart.
He said: “We perfectly know about [the] participation of British specialists in [the] training, preparation and execution of violence against the Russian infrastructure and the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. We know that it has been done.”
Mr Kelin said the evidence will become public “pretty soon”, indicating this could be within days.
He added: “It is dangerous because it escalates the situation. It can bring us up to the line of I would say no return, return is always possible. But anyway, we should avoid escalation.
“And this is a warning actually that Britain is too deep in this conflict. It means the situation is becoming more and more dangerous.”
However, the UK government has immediately spoken out against the claims, adding that they served only to distract from Russia’s repeated military failures during the invasion.
A spokesperson said: “In recent days, Russia has made a range of allegations against the UK, clearly designed to distract attention from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine; Russia’s losses on the battlefield and its bombing of civilian populations and energy infrastructure without any regard for international law and the loss of innocent life.
“We do not plan to give a running commentary on these allegations; it is no secret that the United Kingdom has taken a public lead in our support to Ukraine – this has been enduring since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.”
Vladimir Putin has claimed that the UK plans to destroy Russia and use its natural resources, despite the lack of any substantive evidence suggesting this.
The ambassador went on to deny any plans for Russia to use nuclear weapons, saying such a war “cannot be won and should never be fought”, and insisted that Putin would not use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
This comes despite Russia accusing the UK of “encouraging provocations with weapons of mass destruction”, and claiming to have found evidence of a Ukrainian “dirty bomb”. The Kremlin frequently accuses its opponents of planning to commit the atrocities it itself intends to perform. Kyiv has denied the existence of the claimed weapon.